Skip to main content

tv   Up W Chris Hayes  MSNBC  February 24, 2013 5:00am-7:00am PST

5:00 am
and other documents in one of 30 different languages. when you're done the app will post your content directly to an e-mail, facebook or twitter. to learn more about today's show just click on our website, you'll find all of today's segments plus web exclusive content with more information to help your business grow. you can also follow us on twitter @msnbc your biz. next week, a rockaway beach bagel business owned by two new york city firefighters struggles to rebuild post hurricane sandy. >> when i came into the store, i just couldn't believe what i saw. everything in here was wrecked. everything was -- had water damage. the appliances and the equipment was thrown around the store, it looked like it was ransacked. it was that whole investment, all that time, all that money, all that energy in an instant was just gone. >> see how we helped them prepare for their grand reopening with a very special
5:01 am
"your business" makeover. until then i'm j.j. ramberg, and remember, we make your business our business. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership.
5:02 am
good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes. pope benedict xvi gave his final public blessing this morning to thousands of people in st. peter's square in rome. benedict will step down on thursday. italians began voting today to elect a new prime minister. with polls closing tomorrow they view it as a two-way race between bersoni and silvio berlusconi. right now i'm joined by neera tanden and michael hastings, also a buzz feed correspondent. ana marie cox, former washington editor for and gq magazine and oscar joiner.
5:03 am
great to have you all here. there was a big stink made about the white house press corps story or nonstory. president obama played golf with tiger woods in florida last weekend. the white house press corps was denied access to this moment in the president's second term. fox news chief white house correspondent ed henry, who's the president of the white house correspondents association released a statement to politico that underscored the press corps's complaint. i can say a broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and tv have expressed extreme frustration to me about having no access to the president of the united states this entire weekend. there is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today, transparency. they complained about the president being a manipulator of the press and guilty of shutting them out. with more technology and fewer resources the many media companies, the balance of power between the white house and the press has tipds unmistakably toward the government.
5:04 am
it's a dangerous development that they have exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. it seems to me this discussion is confusing. two different things ed henry mentioned. access on the one hand and transparency on the other. president obama has granted 674 interviews in his first term compared to just 217 interviews by george w. bush. so it's not like the president hasn't been accessible. it's just that he's granted that access to lots of outlets, like ebony magazine, the daily show and the view. the public, though, has a stake in transparency and on this front the white house's record has been far more troubling. i want to ask you guys what you made of this little brouhaha. i found it sort of funny. because it was kind of like -- it seemed like they did not realize -- the white house correspondents association did not realize the optics are going to war over photos of towards and so they themselves
5:05 am
ironically found themselves trapped in the 24-hour news cycle in which they come off looking bad. >> i don't know if it's coincidence than ed henry is with fox and fox really loves this story. they're hypocrites because they claimed this under bush and they try to do it and they missed the opportunity to sort of side with progressives sometimes. and on the issue of transparency, a lot of progressives are unhappy with obama. it's not about whether or not he plays golf with tiger woods, it's how transparent is this white house and they do have a problem. you're right, like this is the nickel and diming of this kinds of access. this is fighting over the pennies on the table when you've ceded all the other things the white house can control so you're letting them have it and fighting over this. >> from your perch in dallas, texas, not washington, d.c., as the head of a media company that has syndicated black radio stations and shows, and tom joiner has interviewed the president i think about eight times. that's a lot of access.
5:06 am
>> that's a lot of access, but it's justified. i mean we are a radio show where one man reaches almost eight million people a week. so this is one black man that reaches almost one in four black people. there's no woman that reaches one in four women or no one latino that reaches one in four latino. it reaches 70% of the african-american audience so you can't blame the man for coming on and talking directly to voters. this is back when fdr was doing his fire side chat via what medium? radio. he no longer needs to talk to the white house press corps to talk to a reporter who's going to talk to somebody else about what he said. he can go on "the view" and talk directly to women. he can go on the al sharpton show and talk directly to voters. >> okay. but devil's advocate in me says this, right. even if access is born of competitive envy. people complain about -- look, who are we kidding? chris hughes, who worked for the president, right? bought the new republic just astonishingly, scored an
5:07 am
interview for the first issue of his magazine. it would be a great thing to launch a magazine with an interview of the president. i would happen to love it if the first episode of up with chris hayes happened to be an interview with the president. >> when he comes on -- >> the other argument is the reason you're getting the access is because tom joiner is a huge supportert of the president of the united states, he's not going to face hard questions or be subjected to any sort of critical days with tom joiner. i'm not saying this as a criticism, tom joiner is explicitly in support of the president. >> we're not here to talk to african-american mothers with children about a $1.2 trillion debt. we're not here to talk about what we're in to china or what we're going to do about the world economy. our listeners, the african-american female that listens to us, wants to know about kin about kindergarten, jobs, gas prices. the trillions of dollars that are numbers that our average listener doesn't know about, the 18 to 34 demo isn't going to
5:08 am
vote an a trillion dollar debt. >> no one understands a trillion dollars and no one actually cares about a trillion dollars. >> so to me, the gulfgate revealed -- golfgate revealed one major thing with the press corps. what motivated ed henry to make this statement was not transparency. that's not the actual principle, it's embarrassment. they got scooped by a reporter from golf digest. >> and they were like, dude, wtf. >> ed henry, who's a new character in my book, i have a scene where ed actually sits me down to complain about some of my reporting because i reported something that no one else in the white house press corps did. what he said was, look, the reason you can't do this is because you're making us all look bad. this is the exact same principle at stake with this golf digest. >> you can't do this. you'll make us look bad. >> over tiger woods, like planting your flag over tiger
5:09 am
woods made him look ridiculous and not self aware. >> i think there's a broader issue here. if you think about what people are complaining about, i think there's two different things. if everyone in the white house thought what the white house press corps was really interested in was a substantive analysis of the president's position on pre-k or a substantive analysis of the president's position on 50 different things in the budget, there there would be a lot more respect for the demand for information. but the demand for information is really all gotcha. it's all about what the president did, tiger woods, this kind of -- it's the trivialization of news that gets people in the white house thinking, you know what, you're not interested in informing democracy. >> it's not like the white house has this grand like desire for a really -- for a press that, you know, influences democracy that has this high ideals. they actually just want -- these are two, you know, parties that have their own interests and either of those interests are especially noble. i don't think the white house has noble interests in wanting to elevate the press. like they want to talk to
5:10 am
friendly audiences. >> they want to win voters. i don't even begrudge them that. they want to manage their image in a way that political maximizes -- >> i guess i'm saying they're aided in the argument that, you know what, you really don't need to have this picture because it's a joke. >> by the end of it, the first question they get is who won, you or tiger? but what about your gaffes? this is the question. that being said, look, the white house also exploits the trivial nature and our obsession with trivi triviality. >> i want to respond too. one is for a moment to briefly defend the white house, a lot of white house correspondents because i think a lot of them do good work. and i would actually say in some ways the problem is the beat. actually it's a very difficult beat because you're locked in that room. if you have the white house beat, and what being locked in the room means is your job is to do things like watch the president and let us know who he's playing golf with. that's your job. if you're not allowed to do
5:11 am
that, you can't do your job, right? the white house correspondent beat is a very specific beat. it's about covering the day in, day out of what happens at the white house. >> but just to be fair, you can cover what the president is talking about and actually do a somewhat in-depth analysis of the actual policy he's announcing. many people do that. but also i think what drives a lot of the coverage is the personality. >> it's relatability. >> like you said. when he's done with his round, the first thing you don't want to ask him is what he's going to do about the debt crisis, you want to know who on. >> you're defending the trivial. >> i'm not saying it's trivial, i'm saying it's relatability. these are things that the consumers and voters want to know about. they don't want to read a long article about his policies, it is how can he relate to me? >> then you can't argue you're defending democracy, you're defending readings. i'm defending democracy so you need to give me -- >> i want to bring -- we have robert gibbs, who knows something about this, former press secretary in the obama
5:12 am
white house, now an msnbc contributor. robert, i want to take a quick break and bring you back -- >> i was enjoying watching this. let those guys go. popcorn and everything. >> right after this quick break. watch this -- alakazam! ♪ [ male announcer ] staples has always made getting office supplies easy. ♪ another laptop? don't ask. disappear! abracadabra! alakazam! [ male announcer ] and now we're making it easier to get everything for your business. and for my greatest trick! enough! [ male announcer ] because whatever you need, we'll have it or find it, and get it to you fast. staples. that was easy. with command strips from 3m. designed to stick and eliminate odors anywhere. like this overflowing trashcan. to test it, we brought in the scott family. so what do you smell? beach house and you're looking out over the ocean. some place like, uh, hawaii in like a flower field. take your blindfolds off. aw man! [ screams ] [ laughs ]
5:13 am
that smells good. i wouldn't even just put it in the trash, i'd put it in every room. stick it to eliminate odors anywhere. new febreze stick & refresh. breathe happy. stick it to eliminate odors anywhere. i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. [ male announcer ] we began with the rx. ♪ then we turned the page, creating the rx hybrid. ♪ now we've turned the page again with the rx f sport. ♪
5:14 am
this is the next chapter for the rx and the next chapter for lexus. this is the pursuit of perfection.
5:15 am
all right, robert gibbs, robert gibbs, you are in to extend the puppet master metaphor, perhaps. my point being here's my question. you get 600 requests a day for interviews of the president let's say or a thousand or whatever, right? and i do think one of the points that's true in that politico piece is that there has been a change structurally, right? there's still only one white house, right? there's no competition for
5:16 am
another president or another president adviser, but instead of ten outlets the white house is dealing with, there's 600, right? and so now you have to make these choices sitting in your role formerly as the head of the white house press secretary of who gets that access. my first question to you is what is the thinking? literally how do you go about making that decision? there's not to be some spread sheet that here are the four million outlets that want to talk to us and what does that meeting look like where you say him, him and her. >> chris, you're right. i used to keep and my assistant used to keep a spread sheet of pending requests but you also have spreadshe hets of viewersh, the reach of different things. two things have changed this relationship a bit over the past few years, and that is that just really the viewership being so dispersed in this country. in 198050 million people watched the evening news, the nightly newscast. my first year in the white house, that was a little bit
5:17 am
more than 22 million people. so the viewership is very dispersed. and the second thing is the advent of technology. social media and the internet have not just for the white house but literally every brand in america produces now some of its own content to deliver directly to people. now, that does that mean that that content is intended to supersede everything else people right see it just provides a different viewpoint or perspective, it's not to supplant that. >> you're saying part of it is the audience. like oscar joyner is saying, we reach 70% of african-americans, we want to talk to those voters. >> very easy decision to do tom joyner. >> in it also an easy decision because tom joyner is not going to ask you very hard questions or be predisposed to be critical of you? >> no, i think in some -- i think as oscar said, tom isn't
5:18 am
going to ask you the gotcha of the day or some crazy thing that washington is all in a tizzy about from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on a monday afternoon. but i will say this. if you watch president obama, right, he gives long, expansive answers. i tend to think an interviewer that gives the president the space to give an answer is going to be far more understanding about what the president is thinking than somebody who looks like they're playing gotcha and interrupting him every seven or eight seconds and he's never going to be able to spit out what his answer is. we always looked for places that were longer for him and we had the ability to give those longer answers to. >> do you -- in your role as press secretary, is your job to maximize the political appealingness -- political appeal, that's the word we use occasionally, that's why i'm not
5:19 am
press secretary, maximize the political appeal of the president of the united states or do you view it as balancing two competing interests, which is maximizing the president's political appeal and dpa guaranteeing some public access which is to say sometimes doing things that might not make the president look good because you also have a role as being a defender of the public's right to have access to the president? >> well, i think you have to do -- to be successful and to not cause this to be a story literally every day, you have to do obviously some of each. obviously my job as press secretary was to maximize the president's viewpoint, to maximize his image. and look, because of the fact that you have to explain things that are going on in this country, there are definitely things that you're going to do that are going to not necessarily make you look good or paint you in a good light, so you have to do some of each. and, you know, there are things that each president has to do.
5:20 am
you do take questions at these things. you do have a pool that you cart around with you. if the president goes to play basketball this morning or if the president goes to watch his daughter play basketball this morning, all these guys load up in a van and go with him just in case something happens. so you have that with you. but obviously, look, i was listening to that first discussion. the job of the white house is not to lift the press corps in some noble fashion. that's not what they're there had to. that's not what the white house is there to do. there will always be some tension, obviously, in this relationship and in a democracy that's probably a good thing. >> robert, how would you have handled the tiger woods situation? how would you have handled golfgate if you had been stuck down there? >> i would have -- i would have probably laughed and then thought not much more about it. there are times in which -- look, the story obviously -- the guy that was tweeting for the
5:21 am
golf magazine is a member of the club. you know, so i'm sure he got -- he might have gotten some inside information about tiger woods or whatever. but everybody has got a -- everybody that has a twitter account is basically a political reporter these days. but, you know, there are times -- there are times in which the white house wants the president to be able to just go be a real person and play golf with somebody. so you're not going to provide a picture. i don't think quite frankly there's some duty for the white house to provide a picture every time the president does something. >> but here's my question about access. you're saying that there's an inherent logic to some of the access that's granted but it also seems to me that access is an economy. you know very well that an interview granted to a magazine that they can put on their cover literally means money for that magazine and ratings for a network that can get it. there's a pecuniary interest on the part of the outlet of scoring big interviews with the
5:22 am
president or the first lady and that's something that you have the power to grant. what it looks like from someone who isn't getting those interviews is that there's essentially a kind of corrupt economy in which that's granted tacitly in exchange for friendly coverage. >> you should sit in on some of the president's interviews, chris. >> i watch them and i read them. >> the notion that i sit there and try to figure out who's going to make money off of the cover of a magazine, you're giving us a whole -- you're giving us way too much credit. >> that's what i'm saying is when an interview is asked for from you, right, everybody understands that the granting of that interview is a big deal to who gets it. it means a lot. granting it to them grants them a gift economy of a favor. >> but he doesn't grant them so i can get ratings. i accept them if i can. but he doesn't accept it so i
5:23 am
can get ratings on my morning show. when we ask for it, we receive it because of who we are and the access, like i said, that we give directly to the voters. the new 18 to 34-year-old voter that's out there that the past two campaigns have been trying to appeal to, they aren't attracted to the same mediums. they aren't attracted to these things sitting across our desk. they're on their smartphones, looking at things that are less than 50 words, they're looking at the characters you can get on twitter and facebook and that's the news that they want. they get everything they want in that salacious quick headline without having to read everything on page 6. >> let me jump in on something. you said, you know, the reason that you care at all about the sort of democratic freedom of the press aspect or the access or the sort of noble transparency aspect is that you want to avoid questions or avoid trouble. you want to avoid making access the story and that's why you kind of have to kind of grant
5:24 am
some of thee things. i'm wondering -- >> i don't think that's exactly what i said, but go ahead. >> unti feel like i'm back in t white house pressroom. >> i feel like i'm back there too. i'm wondering, do you think there is a purpose to having the white house press corps? >> that's a really good question. is it just an outmoded institution? >> i guess i'm curious what function does it serve? if you're not making decisions based on looking at the seating chart, if you're not making decisions based on looking at the old hierarchy of media, is there a purpose to having people there? >> let me be clear, i didn't say that you're not making decisions based on the hierarchy or you're not -- you're making decisions based on reach, right? probably the president has done the most interviews with "60 minutes." why is that? because more people watch "60 minutes" than any other news program in the country. why do you talk to tom joyner? because, as oscar said, you can
5:25 am
reach 70% of african-americans with one phone call from the residence. why wouldn't you do something like that? you're making decisions on that spreadsheet on interviews based on the reach. as i said, 22 million people -- collectively watch the evening news broadcast in a country of 310 million people. any interview you do, you have to hope for a factor of exponentiality. so if i give an interview to "rolling stone" magazine or if i give an interview to "60 minutes," that it's not just simply going to be seen by the readership or viewership of that one outlet, but it's going to be recreated and reshown on the platforms of hundreds of millions of people and the message can get spread. we don't live in a society where you can just put up a blog post and say i've reached 310 million people. they now know what the president is doing.
5:26 am
i can now go back to, you know, eating popcorn and bonbons. that's not the way the whole thing works. >> i want to ask about the second aspect of transparency which i think is different than access. i think access is about internal press competition and transparency is what the public knows and has access to and i want to talk about that after this break. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ with simple, real ingredients, like roasted peanuts, creamy peanut butter, and a rich dark-chocolate flavor, plus 10 grams of protein, so it's energy straight from nature to you. nature valley protein bars.
5:27 am
5:28 am
5:29 am
the white house is where news goes to die. everything is canned. these perfectly prepared statements -- >> it's a prestigious job, zoe. >> it used to be in when i was in ninth grade. now it's a graveyard. the only halfway interesting they do is throw a big dinner party once a year where they pat themselves on the back and rub shoulders with movie stars. who needs that? >> zoe barnes character from "house of cards" who's considering applying for a job in the white house correspondents association and deriding it. this question of transparency i think is the deeper, more important one and i think the point that we all kind of agree with at the table is that
5:30 am
there's no great democratic stake in whether we know -- whether we can see a picture of the president and tiger woods golfing. i think that's my own personal view. you know, i don't care about that. what i do care about is -- >> unamerican. >> no. but what i do care about is, say, the administration's -- the legal rationale for its decision that it can kill american citizens in certain circumstances if they're an al qaeda operative. >> whether they can do that here. >> without due process. whether they can do that here. and on this issue, particularly on national security issues, i feel like there really has been a transparency problem. i want to just show a little bit of montage of the white house responding to questions about, say, the drone program over the years. >> google plus video chat he acknowledged for the first time the classified drone program. why did he do that? >> i'm sorry, can you be more specific? >> the former director of national intelligence, retired
5:31 am
admiral dennis blair, said, i believe, yesterday that drone attacks, unilateral drone attacks can actually do more harm to u.s. national security interests and that good. does the white house -- any opinion about these drones? >> we believe our relationship with pakistan is essential to fighting terrorism and terrorists. >> "the new york times" reports that vice president biden in these sessions talking about the way forward has pressed specifically for a strategy that elevates the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, and de-emphasizes u.s. combat forces on the ground. can you tell us if that's true? >> i think you can understand why i'm not going to get into internal discussions. >> you can't say one way or the other whether that's true or not? >> i'm not going to get into it. >> now, i understand, robert, why. >> you had to put that last picture up, didn't you? >> we got the guy. i guess i should say in defense
5:32 am
of white house press secretaries, they do not make the decision. they're the person who has to get sent out to say what we can and can't talk about. my sense is they don't make the decision about whether you're going to or not going to talk about the drone program. but do you think that the white house has been forthcoming, sufficiently forthcoming? we have these seven memos right now, we haven't seen any of those. the white paper got released right before brennan, not by the white house but leaked apparently. do you think that you've been sufficiently forthcoming and the white house has been sufficiently forthcoming on this stuff? >> i think you've seen recently the president discuss the need and desire to be more forth come. i certainly think there are aspects of that program that are and will remain highly sensitive and very secret, but let me give you an example here, chris. when i went through the process of becoming press secretary, one of the first things they told me was you're not even to acknowledge the drone program. you're not even to discuss that it exists. and so i would get a question
5:33 am
like that and literally i couldn't tell you what major asks because once i figured out it was about the drone program i realized i'm not supposed to talk about it. here's what's inherently crazy about that proposition. you're being asked a question based on reporting of a program that exists. so you're the official government spokesperson acting as if the entire program -- pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. i think in many ways and i think what the president has seen, and i have not talked to him about this, i want to be careful. this is my opinion. but i think what the president has seen is our denial of the existence of the program when it's obviously happening undermines people's confidence overall in the decisions that their government makes. and in order to bolster that confidence and bolster the belief that we're making those correct decisions on this policy, you do have to lift the veil some to both acknowledge
5:34 am
that it exists, as he's done, but also to do it in a way that provides better understanding. i will say ironically the time in which the president probably talked most about the drone program, interestingly enough, was in an interview on "the daily show" with jon stewart. so going back to that earlier discussion, why do you give this person and that person an interview. jon stewart asked a good question and gave the president the space to give an answer. my sense is even though you might say i watch jon stewart and jon stewart probably votes for barack obama other than mitt romney, jon asked a very smart question and then gives the president the space to give him an answer and probably would have held him accountable if he would have not. >> he took him to the woodshed two nights ago about these documents. >> one thing if robert says that's one of the first things that he was -- that they went through when he was becoming press secretary, that means that they were thinking about this like in 2007, you know. they were thinking about that
5:35 am
they were going to hide the existence of this program before obama even really became president. >> well, to be fair on the calendar, this would have been after the election in 2008. and i don't think i'm -- the drone program has existed obviously, if you read any reporting, has existed well before barack obama got into office. >> that's just something that you're going to go into the white house and not talk about is an interesting one, an interesting statement about what the priorities were for the administration. i also understand i think this is an interesting -- almost impose back to our previous discussion. that the reason to talk about the drone program is to avoid having secrecy about the drone program being the story. it is the pressure of what is the story. >> but the drone program, it's a little bit of a tough case, right. in these cases, you don't actually release information about cia spies going to kill enemies of the united states. so, you know, we would never -- if people had information about
5:36 am
particular names of spies, et cetera, we would never -- robert gibbs when he was white house press secretary wouldn't do that. but i hear and i think robert made a very compelling argument for first amendment principles because over time these things do actually make people cynical about the government. >> and i think the key point here, though, is political pressure. i want to talk about that when we come back. al one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card. [ garth ] why settle for less? ahh, oh! [ garth ] great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. here's your wake up call. [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? [ crows ] now where's the snooze button?
5:37 am
5:38 am
[ crows ] savor and explore, s a the great indoors ♪ ♪
5:39 am
♪ friskies indoor delights. ♪ feed the senses. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+. oscar joyner you were making a point been transparency in the age of social media. >> it's a conflict of the times. these days when you've got social networks and everybody is able to find out that he did play basketball with his friends and who those friends were and who was on the five on five team and when you're able to find out things about what he had for breakfast via twitter or social, people think that means transparency also across the board. because i couldn't find out these things before about the president, now i should be able to find out about the drone program, i should be able to find out about anything anybody can tweet about. if we paid attention to twitter a little bit more, i think they
5:40 am
would have found out they were invading bin laden. so people are thinking just because now we get this sort of new and sometimes unfetterred access because somebody has got a smartphone on them that now i should get access to any question i ever wanted to because now it's just so easy. >> and i think actually in those clips we did show, that was the white house doing the noble work of holding the administration's feet to the fire. now, it took -- >> the press corps. >> the press corps holding the feet to the fire. and as someone who -- i've spent six months investigating who the president has played basketball with as well as spent another six months investigating what the drone program is, there's two sets of information there. one is for the political elite washington class that's very fascinated with the palace intrigue that wants the information that only a finite number of people have. there are only a certain number of senior advisers to the president that have this information. that's what you need access to. and they're also into the
5:41 am
gossipy things. and then you have these larger, big deed democracy questions about -- >> what is our government doing, who is it killing. >> and those are things that i think are much more important. >> absolutely. >> and to bring it around i think to the first -- the first discussion, and i think the point you made, ana marie, is that in some ways the perverse tee is the fact that i don't get the names of tiger woods that become the story that force access much more than it's no one is acknowledging the drone program, right? robert, what i'm hearing from you and i think this makes sense, is that ultimately it is kind of political outcry that is the pressure that drives things, right? when you said, look, you can't just shut everybody out because people will get angry and that becomes the story, it does seem to me that these decisions really are based on political calculations. that's natural, it's a political office. that if people are angry and up in arms about not knowing about the drone program or that's creating political programs, you're going to see more about it, and if not, not. >> yes.
5:42 am
i think political pressure certainly. i want to maybe bifurcate this a bit and i don't want to compare the drone program to the notion that if you didn't see tiger woods somehow that causes you now to -- again -- >> that's my point. >> but there's a white house briefing room for a reason. and let's be clear. in no other entity that i can think of in this country does somebody walk out there virtually every day and answer questions about different topics. and we do that not because we have to, but because that's how a democracy works. it only works if we're providing information on what the president and the administration are doing and how that affects people and it only works if the press corps asks questions of the administration which may lead to more transparency on things like the drone program. >> msnbc contributor robert gibbs, former obama press secretary. that was a lot of fun this morning. i'd love to have you back at the table next time you're in new york. >> chris, thanks for having me.
5:43 am
anna marie cox and oscar joyner, really great to have you here. thanks. come back. the political ticking time bomb no one seems able to diffuse, next. aspirin, really? i haven't thought about aspirin for years. aspirin wouldn't really help my headache, i don't think. aspirin is just old school. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. what's different? it has micro-particles. enters the bloodstream fast and rushes relief to the site of pain. visit today for a special trial offer. but with kids growing up fast, fighting seven signs of aging gets harder. introducing total effects
5:44 am
moisturizer plus serum. for the ninety-two practices, two proms, and one driving test yet to come. she'll need our most concentrated total effects ever.
5:45 am
she'll need our most concentrated ♪
5:46 am
♪ no two people have the same financial goals. pnc works with you to understand yours and help plan for your retirement. visit a branch or call now for your personal retirement review. we are now just five days away from the latest self-imposed budget deadline in washington. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are panicking. unless president obama and congressional republicans can reach some sort of broader deficit reduction agreement or at least another temporary deal, the government will face a series of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration which will total $85 billion this year and a trillion over the next decade. half will be to military spending an half to discretionary programs across the entire government. the past few weeks virtually everyone in washington has been
5:47 am
condemning what has been come to be known as the sequester as a devastating policy that will affect nearly every aspect of american life. >> these cuts are not smart, they are not fair, they will hurt our economy. >> for the sake of our hard-working men and women at our ports, congress can't allow the sequester to happen. >> travelers should expect delays. >> it's going to be very disruptive to our food supply. >> we can't strand our researchers, we cannot say to our scientists fold up your work. >> why in god's name would members of congress elected by the american people take a step that would badly damage our national defense, but more importantly undermine the support for our men and women in uniform? >> so the sequester is sort of a ticking time bomb but it's also a poorly designed time bomb. the same percentage sequestration shall apply to all programs, projects and activities within a budget account. on the one hand that's incredibly strict. it means all agencies must cut
5:48 am
the same amount from their budgets. but it's somewhat unclear what constitutes programs, projects and activities. if the national institutes of health gives out x dollars for cancer research grants, it will have to eliminate 5% of the grants or cut each grant by 5%. if the deadline does pass, the office of budget will be charged with figuring that out. the congressional budget office projects that the cuts may land us back in recession and result in 750,000 job losses this year alone. on top of that the bipartisan policy center suggests sequester won't have that much effect on our national debt. debt as a percentage of gdp will reach 100% just two years later than otherwise. so to recap, no one wants a sequester, no one knows how it will work. it could put us back in recession and does almost nothing to reduce the debt. if that's the case, why don't both houses of congress pass a one sentence law repealing it and the president with sign it. problem solved. i want my panel to answer that question right after this.
5:49 am
hmm, we need a new game. ♪ that'll save the day. ♪ so will bounty select-a-size. it's the smaller powerful sheet. the only one with trap + lock technology. look! one select-a-size sheet of bounty is 50% more absorbent than a full size sheet of the leading ordinary brand. use less. with the small but powerful picker upper, bounty select-a-size. [ male announcer ] how could a luminous protein in jellyfish, impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
5:50 am
5:51 am
5:52 am
everybody hates the sequester, so why can't we get rid of it? neera tanden is back with us and joining us is william black, steve ellis, vice president of taxpayers for common sense and phyllis bennis. taxpayers for common sense has done -- it's like the hot new thing in washington, coming up with sequestration alternatives. there's been some stuff from the center of american progress on that. taxpayers for common sense put out a fairly detailed plan, some of which i think is quite good. even as a liberal ike there's a lot of places of corporate welfare you guys went after. but why even have it? before we get to that, i feel like the terms of the debate have been artificially constructed around the need to cut and this ridiculous time bomb that's about to go off that everybody hates. why can't we just pass -- why can we not pass a one-sentence law saying no sequestration?
5:53 am
>> well, certainly we can. i mean the congress can do that. but the question is, is do we need to actually cut spending? and i think to some extent -- i understand. but, no, if you look at where we are and what we've done in the last decade, you know, we have -- we've done -- basically we have prosecuted two wars, we did the medicare prescription drug benefit, we did several tax cuts. we did the stimulus. all on the credit card of the country. so, you know, you went the -- 30 years ago, just a little over 30 years ago our national debt was a trillion dollars. it's $16.5 trillion today. so we racked up -- >> yeah, but -- >> no, no, no, my point is, chris, i'm not defending the fact of sequestration by any stretch. everybody at the table all agrees it's stupid, it's an awful tool. it was meant to be that way.
5:54 am
the creation of it was in the budget control act in the summer of 2011 which was basically this was so bad it was going to inspire a super committee of the house and senate to act. it didn't work and so now here we are, we're faced with it, and it's a problem, there's no doubt about it. but we can do some of these things. i would argue that our cuts, we did sliding past sequestration, is $2 trillion worth of deficit reduction. let me be really clear, deficit reduction. there are revenue raisers, there are spending cuts that are included in this. we've had a massive buildup in the defense department. there's a lot of room for cutting there. we did a separate report looking at spending even less, spooechkd smarter, looking at the defense department and cutting $6 billion from the defense department so there are advantages and things that we can do and also turn off sequestration. >> bill, what do you think about the sort of inherent logic here, which is the kind of conversation around finding alternatives so that we can avoid it? >> well, there is no fundamental
5:55 am
logic. it's completelyin coherent from both sides, republicans and democrats, because they won't tell the truth about the fact that we're in a recession, recovering from it, and that the worst possible thing we could do is austerity and throw the nation back into even depression level a la europe. >> i disagree, though. i think that's the weird thing about the conversation is that they are telling the truth about that. all of a sudden basically you have this conversation which was all about cuts, cuts, cuts, right? then they put in these terrible cuts and now everyone is saying these cuts are bad because they will be -- they will hurt growth. i'm like that's what we've been saying. that's what the good guys have been saying. >> but in the next sentence they say so, therefore, do the following cuts instead. that's what's incoherent. >> the reason why we have sequestration is because we should just all be clear, because the republicans were using the debt limit as a gun to the head of the american economy, and it was a way to
5:56 am
address that concern without really coming up with a big budget deal. now, the truth is we have $2.5 trillion of cuts already. >> through the budget control act already. >> through the budget control act and through revenue. and what everyone is debating is that we should actually have a more balanced approach going forward. i agree with you, we are in a recession. we should not have these. but the difference is, just to be clear, is people -- when they talk about a balanced approach, they're talking about long-term deficit reduction and the president is also talking about making investments now in infrastructure, hiring teachers, there's the whole thing. there is a difference -- many progressives believe we should have long-term deficit reduction and make those investments now because we are still in an economic recovery. >> there's two big issues we're dealing with here and it's not just about the numbers in the sequestration act. it's about we're fighting wars that are not making us safer, that much of the world views as illegal, that are not doing anything to make the people of afghanistan safer, the people of yemen, of somalia where the drone war is being fought.
5:57 am
we have to look at the substance of where that money is going and we have to look at how -- who in this country is not paying taxes, which is the wealthiest people, corporation -- >> but here's the problem. >> until we talk about taxing the rich, taxing the corporations, ending the subsidies to dirty oil, for instance, and ending the wars, not just cutting the bloat in the pentagon budget so we don't have $500 hammers on a submarine, we're talking about saving money. my institute, the institute for policy studies, my colleague, marian pemberton has figured out we could save $200 billion just this year, not over ten years, in just the military side without doing anything that would put us at risk. >> what you have articulated is the progressive line on this which i am sympathetic to. but it is an austerian line. we're talking about raising taxes and cutting defense budget. what you're doing is diminishing
5:58 am
the deficit and -- >> but actually the thing -- >> the military spending hurts our economy. >> in other words, this is basically -- what is so ironic about this is it kind of goes back to woodrow wilson, why are the fights so difficult or so vicious? because the stakes are so small. really in reality when you look at sequestration and we're talking about $85 billion this year, really only with $40 billion in real spending cuts, because of the way the budget operates with budget authority. you're looking at not a huge amount of money but the fights are very vicious. >> let me just say this. the stakes are not -- wait, wait. the proposition on the table, the proposition on the table is that the stakes are small in steve's words. i think people at the table probably disagree with that, so i want to talk about why the stakes may not be small right after this break. [ male announcer ] this is bob, a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today.
5:59 am
[ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem, that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce the risk of an afib-related stroke. there is limited data on how these drugs compare when warfarin is well managed. no routine blood monitoring means bob can spend his extra time however he likes. new zealand! xarelto® is just one pill a day, taken with the evening meal. and with no dietary restrictions, bob can eat the healthy foods he likes. do not stop taking xarelto® rivaroxaban without talking to the doctor who prescribes it for you.
6:00 am
stopping may increase your risk of having a stroke. get medical help right away if you develop any signs or symptoms of bleeding, like unusual bruising or tingling. you may have a higher risk of bleeding if you take xarelto® with aspirin products, nsaids or blood thinners. talk to your doctor before taking xarelto® if you currently have abnormal bleeding. xarelto® can cause bleeding, which can be serious, and rarely may lead to death. you are likely to bruise more easily on xarelto®, and it may take longer for bleeding to stop. tell your doctors you are taking xarelto® before any planned medical or dental procedures. before starting xarelto®, tell your doctor about any conditions, such as kidney, liver or bleeding problems. ready to change your routine? ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit
6:01 am
for more information including cost support options, i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
6:02 am
hello from new york, i'm chris hayes. neera daen is here, william black, steve ellis and phyllis bennis. we are talking about the dread sequestration process that is set to happen this week. before we went to break, steve, you quoted woodrow wilson. basically $85 billion in the context of the federal budget as a whole is a relatively small amount of money and i feel like there are other people at the table that felt differently about that and then we went to break. neera, a response. >> look, they actually are going to have a huge impact. there have been countless -- i feel like it's sort of gotten out there that we're going to have cuts to teachers, cuts to kids in pre-k, mental health counselors. >> head start, long-term unemployment benefits, job force development and training, air traffic control. >> and according to the
6:03 am
congressional budget office we'll take a relatively sharp hit to gdp and economic growth. and actually what is really dumb about these particular cuts is when you look at the federal budget at large, you are actually hitting the areas that make america the most competitive. if you're thinking about long-term economic growth, these are the areas, nih research, pre-k, elementary schools, higher education, it's the things over the long term that generally have made us -- and we're actually because of these deficit hysteria, we've decided we need to hit the things that we should be most concerned about in order to achieve these things. >> but that's the nature of sequestration. let's be really clear. i don't think anybody here is defending sequestration. the across the board nature particularly of the cuts. that's where you start getting this sort of it's going to have this effect on teachers. but if you could target it, and i've talked to people, for instance, in the pentagon. they're like give us a target, we'll hit it. give us some flexibility.
6:04 am
and that will actually be able -- it is the nature of this mindless across-the-board cuts where every agency gets the same amount, 8 to 12% which is ridiculous. >> the reason why we have sequestration is because republicans won't raise revenue. everyone agrees on this issue. >> it's not only that, it's because we're fighting wars and bloating the pentagon budget. >> that's not why we have sequestration. >> it's why we have a crisis. it's why we have an economic crisis. if we look at afghanistan -- >> wait a minute. if we look at afghanistan for every young soldier that's there, there's about 68,000 soldiers that are there, every one of them, it costs $1 million a year. not because they make a lot of money, half of them qualify for food stamps. because of the cost of waging a war half a world away. >> so you're agreeing deficits are driving this? >> no, i'm saying that the wars are a huge part of why we are in crisis. if you bring home one soldier --
6:05 am
>> no, no -- >> wait. and move that money to real jobs, you could hire that soldier and 19 more like her at $50,000 a year, enough to support a real family in this country. that's the way we keep our country safe. cut the military budget is the best way to keep us safe. >> there are two conversations going on, and they're completely different. >> they're tangled on purpose actually, right? they're by design tangled. >> first, we are coming out of the great recession, and it is called the great recession for a really good reason. it cost $20 trillion in wealth, it cost 10 million americans their jobs, it cost over 10 million europeans their job. and when they responded with austerity, it put three nations into great depression levels and the entire eurozone is back into a gratuitous recession they could have avoided. as to that recession, we do not
6:06 am
want our fourth act of contraction, fourth act of austerity. so we've already had the 2011 act that you talked about and we had the tax cuts for the wealthy, but the biggest thing is the payroll tax, which had a devastating effect on gdp. and now we want to do a fourth thing. so, yes, cumulatively it is a big deal what we're proposing to do. we are strangling the recovery and that's insane. that's the net level. now, of course you can cut things within, but you increase spending in other areas. >> but here's my point is that -- yes, okay. in the magical world in which we at the table of "up with chris hayes" can determine where the money goes, fine. but what's coming down the pike right now is this forced choice. and my question, i was on "the last word with howard dean" who said basically he made the following argument, that the defense budget is so bloated and
6:07 am
has been so difficult to ratchet back, we should strike now and take this opportunity. >> i so badly want to cut all of the fat out of the pentagon that i'm willing to do this. it's terrible. i hope we can restore some of the things. the 2% medicaid cuts don't have any effect on patient care. so it is true there are bad cuts in there from a democratic point of view but we are never again going to get a chance to cut the pentagon back. the pentagon hasn't had any significant cuts for 30 years. a lot of the money that's going to be cut is money that was not asked for by the pentagon. it was put in by bloated congress people who wanted to do stuff for people in their district. we have got to cut defense spending in this country and i'm fairly hawkish on defense but this may be our only chance. >> let me show this graph. this is the defense spending from 1985 to 2011 with sequester. including war spending in 2013 dollars. and what you see is in real dollars the budget coming down, which is very hard to do. so i guess i'm saying is if the
6:08 am
choice is cains or peace, you can choose austerity, an austerity that actually cuts the pentagon budget which has been very difficult to do or get out of the austerity bind and deal with the pentagon later, what do you want? >> so shockingly it's a false choice, okay. shockingly you're binary between two extremes is a false choice. we should cut the pentagon budget, right? we at the center for american progress would cut the pentagon budget dramatically, not as much as sequestration because we do think you need a glide path. but i disagree with this premise. you are seeing on both sides much more interest in cutting the pentagon budget. but the challenge is we should be focused on economic growth. economic growth for the middle class and competitiveness over the long term. and what's wrong with sequestration is not to me in my mind the pentagon cuts, but the cuts to all the things that
6:09 am
matter that we all argue about matter to middle class families and poor families, which is pre-k, education, learning, and research brands that drive innovation in our economy. so as a progressive -- hold on. no, no, as a progressive i say we can have a balanced approach that actually thinks about competitiveness and growth and inequality and reducing inequality over the long term. we should cut the pentagon budget but this is a dumb way to do it. and as progressives we should care about having smart strategies. >> i think it has to do both. our strategy has to look at how to cut the military budget not just because of budgetary issues but because the wars are wrong, they're illegal -- >> they're ending. the wars of ending. >> the drone war is expanding, it's not ending. the drone war is expanding, but outthat it's a huge component of why we don't have jobs elsewhere is that we do have so many jobs in the military, which as we know is the least effective way of hiring the most people for
6:10 am
the most amount of money. >> so after sequestration, you look at -- your graph showed this. even if we did the whole $500 billion, which is the ten-year target forsee confe-- fo for sequestration, to me it is not as difficult to swallow that. and then secondly i agree that you're bringing up about the awfulness of sequestration. i agree. i think we all agree it is awful the way the thing is -- >> but they're not letting us do these things. it's not like you don't have a role. >> we'll put revenue on the table. we've definitely asked -- called for additional revenue, limiting tax breaks, all sorts of things along those lines. but the senate democrats, they're talking about some of these are fictitious cuts as well. for instance, they're talking about eliminating direct payments to farmers, which is a bogus policy that was set up in 1996, freedom to farm. it's ridiculous.
6:11 am
but they're only getting $28 billion out of that instead of $50 million, which would be the whole boat of that because they're keeping in place other farm subsidy programs. >> you're for reducing farm subsidies. >> absolutely. >> here's the grand point that has come out of this when you talk about a balanced approach. there was a pew study and they asked people what do you want to cut and this is the same thing that you find, when you ask specifically they don't want to cut anything. but there's a worrying trend over time about the american public which i think plays to what this debate is about. i want to show that graph right when we come back. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to today and make your business dream a reality.
6:12 am
at we put the law on your side.
6:13 am
6:14 am
here's the graph i want to show you. when pew asks people about what do you want to cut, right, this is a great timeless truth about
6:15 am
the american public. in the abstract we want to cut. particularly, should we raise spending on given priority, decrease or about the same and what you find is that most people want to increase or about the same. but over time i think somewhat worryingly if you go back to 1987, the trend is downwards. meaning the percentage of people that want to keep things the thing or increase funding is going down. what you're seeing there is that the conversation imoving towards austerity, even if the public still mostly wants to increase or maintain funding and not cut. they're more disposed to cuts now in 2013 than just a few years ago. you see that sharp decline that's happening there. >> there's like been $6 trillion spent. i'm telling people -- >> that's right, exactly. >> this has been the guiding argument of the tea party, of republicans. their argument is that the government is in the way of growth. so the fact that they're -- after all of that media barrage, there are still people who recognize, you know what, schools and teachers help us in
6:16 am
the long term i think is a statement of how embedded those values are. people don't like things cut. and the truth is -- >> even republicans i should say on things like education and health care. >> very high support. i think what we're dealing with is after 10, 12 years of lower wage growth, people are actually more protective, given the media brush, pretty protective of things that help them in their lives and that's what is ridiculous and upside down about this entire debate about sequestration because you're actually going to hit the things that affect people and that they want and i realize that was the point of sequestration but that's why it's insane that the republican posture or conservative posture on this is we have to take these cuts instead of just having a few more revenue risers and hiring people. >> it's not a proposal to get rid of it. the congressional progressive caucus has a proposal on the table that says they would repeal the whole sequestration
6:17 am
plan and cancel the f-35 joint strike fighter, they would move to reduce massively the nuclear arsenal. they would engage in massive military cuts. that's the kind of serious economic progress we need. >> that's serious but i don't understand. here's my point. just forget it. i agree with all that stuff, but that's a harder political battle than just stopping. just pass the thing that gets rid of the sequestration. we're all caught in this quick sand of what are we going to replace the cuts with but then you're just opening up new fronts of political battle. everyone should come together and pass a one sentence thing that says we don't do it. >> and why doesn't president obama ask for exactly that? i'm a democrat, but i've got to tell you, sequestration was an administration idea. it simply was. >> in the context of trying to not have the default. >> i know why they did it and, yes, the republicans are involved every step of the way. but it was actually designed and
6:18 am
indeed what hasn't been in the press but i've written about is the president opposed it when the republicans tried to get rid of the trigger and then he actually issued a veto threat when they tried to get rid of it later when the super committee was doing. so this is one where there's a lot of complicity and where the administration has not been willing to come forward with a clean deal and just say get rid of the stupid sequestration, which is the right answer. and that's telling you that the president was trying for what he calls the grand bargain, what i call the great betrayal -- >> i disagree with you on this. there's this stupid litigation that's happening in d.c. about whose idea it was when it was passed by both houses of congress and signed by the president. >> everybody is on board that therefore $1.2 trillion of deficit reduction. >> they don't represent everybody. >> bipartisan majorities are on the record of supporting $1.2 trillion in deficit redixon.
6:19 am
i think we can get there with smart decisions that actually make our country stronger and better. i mean i think that sequestration, again, is a stupid, stupid ideas and needs to be stopped. >> we all agree with that. >> everybody that's watching in congress, go to work tomorrow, is today sunday? go to work tomorrow, if you're in session, which you never are. but on the off chance you ever go to congress, just pass a one sentence bill that repeals sequestration. i want to thank william black of the university of missouri kansas city, steve ellis, taxpayers for common sense and phyllis bennis. how real is the threat of cyber war? that's next. what do we do when something that's hard to paint, really wants to be painted? we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker from the home depot... ...the best selling paint and primer in one
6:20 am
that now eliminates stains. so it paints over stained surfaces, scuffed surfaces, just about any surface. what do you say we go where no paint has gone before, and end up some place beautiful. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. behr ultra. now with advanced stain blocking, only at the home depot, and only $31.98 a gallon. with command strips from 3m. designed to stick and eliminate odors anywhere. like this overflowing trashcan. to test it, we brought in the scott family.
6:21 am
so what do you smell? beach house and you're looking out over the ocean. some place like, uh, hawaii in like a flower field. take your blindfolds off. aw man! [ screams ] [ laughs ] that smells good. i wouldn't even just put it in the trash, i'd put it in every room. stick it to eliminate odors anywhere. new febreze stick & refresh. breathe happy.
6:22 am
stick it to eliminate odors anywhere. discover card. cashbacashback concierge?! we have a concierge! i know; it's exciting! wow! what exactly is a cashback concierge? well there's lots of ways you can get cash back - i'm here to help you get the most bang-for-your-buck. it's a personalized thing from discover. it's easy, we won't try and sell you anything, and it's free. free? i want that. yeah you do! this guy is great. high-five through the phone! yeah! i did it. did you actually do it? oh, i did! i totally did. at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. cashback concierge get the new it card at an american computer security firm released a
6:23 am
painstakingly detailed 600-page report that tracked chinese hackers over a span of six years. the report pin points the people liberation army's unit 63198 as relentlessly hacking u.s. government and business entities. it comes in the midst of what seems to be an escalation in cyber attacks or an increase in media coverage of cyber security issues. in late january "the new york times" reported hackers had infiltrated their network. the wall street journal, washington post and bloomberg news also said they were hacked. the media coverage of cyber security has been joined by a constant and growing drum beat for action from government officials. in his state of the union speech president obama touted his new cyber security executive order and last year fbi director robert mueller predicted -- >> stopping attacks is a number one priority. down the road, the cyber threat which cuts across all programs
6:24 am
will be the number one threat to the country. in the same way we address terrorism, we have to change to address cyber crime. >> secretary of defense leon panetta warned of the threat last october. >> i want to urge each of you to add your voice to those who support stronger cyber defenses for our country. in closing, let me say something that i know the people of new york along with all americans will appreciate. before september 11th, 2001, the warning signs were there. we weren't organized, we weren't ready and we suffered terribly for that lack of attention. we cannot let that happen again.
6:25 am
this is pre9/11 moment. >> the rhetoric has been matched by a reorientation of the national security state both public and private over cyber security over the last three to five years. the pentagon is dramatically expanding its cyber command and the fbi, dhs and dod have all increased their cyber security staff and budgets significantly over the past three years. del tech estimates the federal government spent nearly $10 billion on cyber security contracts in 2012. so with both of media and national security state increasingly focusing on cyber security, i want to step back and ask just how big is the actual threat. joining us now are kim peretti, computer crime section and brandon valorino who researches the threat of cyber war. back with us we have michael
6:26 am
hastings of buzz feed and also david sanger, author of the book "confront and conceal" chief washington correspondent for "the new york times." he revealed stuxnet, the cyber weapon sent to iran and gary mcgraw, chief technology officer of cigital, a software security consulting firm. okay, so i guess the first question is and i want to maybe intentionally oversimplify just to litigate this up front. when people talk about the threat of cyberwar, i as a citizen, i don't know, i read what's in "the new york times," there's some classified information and my question is like is this pre-9/11 warnings of al qaeda or is this iraq and weapons of mass destruction? because it seems to me like it could be either. it seems to me like this could be a completely overexaggerated threat or it seems to me like maybe this is something that genuinely is really worrisome and problematic.
6:27 am
>> i we need to be concerned about cyber activity, cyber attacks but it's not on the level of terrorism or 9/11.hype troubling. i worry that we've gone too far with this. >> back that up with david. why do you say that? >> well, me and my co-author collected data on cyber attacks and it's very minimal in terms of actual activity. if you look at the magnitude, it's just not there. stuxnet is the greatest example of a i kncyber attack but we're clear how effective that was. >> what do you think? >> i have a little different perspective. i think what's really key is that cyber bad actors out there, including nation states, have deep and prolonged access to military systems, government systems, commercial systems, to just about every industry. there's deep and prolonged access by these adversaries.
6:28 am
so we are entirely dependent on what is their motive. what can they do with that access. right now we've seen very significant cyber espionage over a decade stealing our trade secrets, stealing our negotiation strategies, our blueprints. that is all quietly gone out the door. what happens if the motives change? and there are examples where the motives have changed. we have the situation of the financial services sector suffering these distributed denial of service attacks. it seems fairly benign to take a website down for a couple of hours and not very painful. at the same time, that's destruction. that gets into the area of not just stealing data but starting to destroy or starting to -- >> yeah, but a ddos attack is like -- i don't know, i feel like okay, are we going to spend $20 billion on it? that's not really the worry. the worry is that they have access to something like the chinese hacking unit, according to this report by mandian sought
6:29 am
access to a software company whose software controls oil and gas pipelines. that is super scary. >> right, right, but it's depending on the motive. that's what i'm saying. the motive of the threat actors that are in the systems right now. >> gary, you -- i saw a talk that you gave that i thought was really useful in kind of distinguishing between a number of different categories of this activity. to be clear about, what do we mean when we're talking about cyberwar? >> i guess there's a big confusion when it comes to the term cyber whatever it is. >> i thought we were doing two blocks on cyber sex so i'm really confused about this whole conversation, so continue. >> we have to distinguish between cyber war, cyber espionage and cyber crime. and in the lead-in piece you had the fbi director say cyber crime is important. that's absolutely true. the mandiant story is about cyber espionage and all of the apocalyptic scare stories are about cyber war which we haven't seen yet, exempt for with
6:30 am
stuxnet. and so the question is how likely is this stuff to happen? i think that we do need to worry about the risks and we need to do something about them. but what we need to do about them is build our systems properly so that they're harder to attack, especially when it comes to the kind of control systems that you just mentioned. >> david, stuxnet -- gary just mentioned stuxnet and i think the grand irony is as we talk about the threat of cyber war, the most concrete example we have of genuine physical destruction, being engineered by essentially a cyber war -- offensive cyber war operation is in fact pulled off by the united states in tandem with israel. >> that's absolutely right, chris. the stuxnet attack, which was really part of a much broader classified program called olympic games started in the bush administration and was accelerated in the obama administration, is perhaps the leading edge of what a highly
6:31 am
sophisticated state can do. and it would be very difficult for an individual hacker, a terrorist group to pull off. and that's, i think, one reason that the cautions that you've heard here from mr. valerino and others are absolutely accurate. that you want to distinguish between cyber espionage, which is basically espionage by more high-tech means, and attacks on infrastructure. what made olympics games different and stuxnet was just one variant of the virus, it's the one that escaped in the summer of 2010, is that it went right after the computer controls that ran the centrifuges that enrich uranium in iran. now, those same kind of computer controllers are very generic and they control all kinds of other things. you can imagine them in power grids, you can imagine their role in factory production and so forth. and so the fact that the united states was able with israel's help to get into iran, to do so
6:32 am
even though that system was separated from the web and it took human beings to go put it in, tells you what can be done. it's also difficult to do. >> i want to talk about what the stuxnet precedent means. and also what is -- what kind of deterrents there are out there. it seems to me like we're in a situation of a classic arms race. everyone is scared that everyone else will have cyber war capabilities so they're arming up with cyber war capabilities which then will lead to cyber war, so i want to see how that can be prevented, right after this break. am! ♪ [ male announcer ] staples has always made getting office supplies easy. ♪ another laptop? don't ask. disappear! abracadabra! alakazam! [ male announcer ] and now we're making it easier to get everything for your business. and for my greatest trick! enough! [ male announcer ] because whatever you need, we'll have it or find it, and get it to you fast. staples. that was easy.
6:33 am
i'm here to pick up some cacti. it should be under stephens. the verizon share everything plan for small business. get a shareable pool of data... got enough joshua trees? ... on up to 25 devices. so you can spend less time... yea, the golden barrels... managing wireless costs and technology and more time driving your business potential. looks like we're going to need to order more agaves... ah! oh! ow! ... and more bandages. that's powerful. shareable data plus unlimited talk and text. now save $50 on a droid razr maxx hd by motorola.
6:34 am
6:35 am
owe the stuxnet cyrus, which was covered -- the story was broken by david sanger, precip dated by a department of justice investigation and who talked to david sanger about the stuxnet program, it does seem to me as a precedent. it's different when data is interrupting data. you're stealing data and it's all staying in the world of data. this is physical destruction precipitated by a hack. so you and your co-author looked
6:36 am
at attacks thus far, but to me the issue is in the future, right? if this can be done, what is deterring, what's the logic of det deterrence that's going to stop us from seeing more attacks like this. >> i term it restraint. basically the precedent is collateral damage is a real problem. that was certainly an aspect that david talked a lot about in his book that was excellent. the other thing is blowback and replication. that if we use these weapons, they can come right back at us or they'll be let loose into the wild, so that's the real problem with cyber attacks. it's not like a missile, you shoot it, it's gone and blows up. the cyber attacks can come right back at you. >> and stuxnet did get out into the wild, like you said. david, was the white house aware, was that part of the logic thinking about what kind of precedent are we setting for blowback and possible revenge attacks? >> well, chris, as i reported in
6:37 am
the book, president obama in the situation room meetings that he had held was quite concerned about the fact that when the word of olympic games got out, and he knew eventually it would, that it would be used by others who might not follow the same rules the united states does to justify attacks on the u.s. or others. and one reason that you knew that the stuxnet virus was written by a state with lawyers involved is that it had a sell by date in it. it actually expired in mid-2012. that's something that hackers don't tend to do. let me get back to your point about deterrents. there's a great tendency here to overanalogize with the nuclear world, and of course that doesn't always work. on the one hand, a cyber weapon is not going to do the kind of damage that a nuclear weapon will, at least to human beings, right, in the first order, unless there's a complete
6:38 am
wipeout of a country's emergency response systems and electricity and so forth. but secondly, they are harder to trace the source than a nuclear weapon. you could sit in a mountain in the nuclear age in colorado and watch the incoming soviet missile or the mistaken view, but in a cyber attack it runs through many servers and it may take weeks or months to determine who the ataerk is. >> that's a super important point. so the mandiant thing probably took weeks or months to put together that report and they're talking about an attack that was five or six years in the making. the servers had been taken over and you look through the log files and do forensics to get to the bottom of it. when a cyber war attack, things will happen fast, in fact at super human speed. so this notion of watching the missile come in and taking 20 minutes to figure out what to do
6:39 am
about it, that's not going to happen in a real cyber war attack. i want to get to the point of deterrents, though. i think that we do have a real possibility for deterrents and in the united states we're one of the only countries that can do it and it would be building systems that are much harder to attack that have much fewer vulnerabilities and that would kill all three birds that we were talking about in the beginning of the show with one stone. you know, so to speak. cyber war, cyber espionage, cyber crime, they all have the same root cause and that is systems that were built without security in mind. we have to fix that. we have to realize we're living in a glass house and fix it. >> the takeaway to me, when you get beneath the hype, is that the thing that seems inescapable a lot of our systems are super vulnerable. >> yes, they are. >> as a matter of fact, whether the cyber war threat where state actors exploiting those vulnerabilities has been hyped up, the actual state of how open our systems are is pretty
6:40 am
haggard. >> that's really an important point, you know, because a lot of people just get so stuck in the hype that they don't think about the actual risk and the actual vulnerability. instead it's all this apocalyptic nonsense. so we have to realize there's some truth to this risk and some truth to the threat and we have to deal with it like adults. >> two things on it, though. i think absolutely that we need to raise the bar of our security standards, of our -- the security in our systems. some industries are much better than other industries, but some industries are woefully inadequate in this space and we need to get the security defenses where they need to be. but at the same time, if it is a state-spaurn state-sponsored attack by a nation state actor, they're going to get in no matter what the level of security is. so keeping in mind that even if we had a state-of-the-art security system in place at a commercial entity, if you're targeted by unlimited resources by a nation state actor, they're likely going to get in. >> i want to get your response, brandon, and you, gary, and talk
6:41 am
about one of the strange things about this is the kind of blurred line between public and private, both in targets being private firms by state actors and also in the world of cyber security which seems to me there's quite a monetary interest for a lot of firms to hype the threat. >> yes, there is. >> so i want to talk about that right after we take this break. there is no mass produced human. so we created the extraordinarily comfortable sleep number experience. a collection of innovations designed around a bed with dualair technology that allows you to adjust to the support your body needs - each of
6:42 am
your bodies. our sleep professionals will help you find your sleep number setting. exclusively at a sleep number store. sleep number. comfort... individualized. at the ultimate sleep number event, queen mattresses start at just $599 . and save 50% on our limited edition bed. ends sunday!
6:43 am
it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long
6:44 am
and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to today and make your business dream a reality. at we put the law on your side. michael hastings, you've been covering wars, conventional wars for a while and you had a question for brandon. >> brandon or david, who reported on this, what do you think our response would be if we were stuxnet? what is the u.s.'s -- do we have an official policy on it or how do you think we would respond some. >> we have said -- well, america has said that they will use conventional attacks if a cyber attack was perpetrated against them. and that's the problem. >> conventional -- we would use -- >> we would view it as a missile. if a virus got in and messed up some centrifuges or took out an air defense or blew up an oil pipeline, right, anything like
6:45 am
that. >> yeah. that's the fear, making nonkinetic violence kinetic violence. going from digital to conventional and this is probably going too far with the cyber threat. >> david, have you, talking to your sources in washington, what is their thinking about this? is it as brandon says that they're ready to go hard if they get hit with the stuxnet type virus? >> i think i've heard something a little different. if you read the pentagon policy, it is that they would use proportional force and they have not said whether or not it would be a return cyber attack or whether it could go to conventional. i think they want to leave open the possibility that it could go conventional. the reality is that every cyber attack that i'm aware of that the united states has ordered against another state, and iran has been obviously the biggest case, there were some minor cases during the iraq war and i think a few uses in afghanistan, have had to go to the president.
6:46 am
and in fact this is considered a weapon like nuclear weapons and to some degree like drone attacks, where the president has got to sign off on specific uses, or at least routine uses of it. there haven't been any routine uses that i'm aware of. however, if you don't leave open the possibility that there could be a conventional response, then you may have lowered the threat perception on the other side about what the response could look like and you might encourage further attacks. i think the u.s. would only respond if there was an attack on american infrastructure. clearly the u.s. has not responded on attacks of american companies, even defense companies. >> and this gets to the public/private access. you have private victims of state attacks, if we believe the mandiant report. but you also have -- there is a lot of money in cyber security. i want to play this clip of mark siegel talking about investment
6:47 am
opportunities in the world of cyber security. take a look. >> on this issue of cyber security, i was actually at the council of foreign relations last night speaking about cyber security, listening to someone else speak about how this is being handled, let's say, from a policy standpoint. but as far as a businessman and an investor, this creates big opportunities for you. what are you seeing in this space, how many more candidates are you seeing that you may eventually back? >> well, there's a lot of security startups, so i guess the best thing you could ever hope for as a venture capitalist is a problem that's never solved. >> that's really the worry, gary, right? like what we are creating is a problem that's never solved and then we've got a huge kroeny capitalist complex built around these security contracts and then i do have a hard time separating reality from threat. >> that's true, that's all true. the thing is, you know, the part that worries me about the discourse in washington where i'm based, pie tby the way, is
6:48 am
overemphasis on offense and the idea that, you know, if we build more stuxnets and even more sophisticated cyber weapons, nobody will attack us. and it's kind of like piling up rocks while you live in a glass house. we've been throwing rocks and i believe what the department of defense wants to do, if i understand it, david, i'd be interested in what you think about this, is figure out how to throw rocks faster and more accurately. you know, and somebody has to say, wait, wait, we're in a glass house, let's work on that first. >> kim. >> you definitely have two different senses of this because the military is out there to throw rocks, to figure out how to go do offense. and if you look how the government has organized itself, defense is the job of the fbi and homeland security and offense is the job of the pentagon and the nsa. >> private firms can't throw rocks, right, kim? they just have to be defense. >> that's right, that's right. >> they're not supposed to but they're talking about an active against thing, right?
6:49 am
>> i think we need to be creative in our strategies for prevention, detection and response to cyber attacks. and i think we need to develop these technologies, be creative in how we're going to respond to an attack because just a typical of compliance-based approach of checking security controls off a box doesn't work anymore. so building in cyber intelligence into cyber security strategies, understanding building in information realtime threat or near realtime threat is what we need to respond. >> david sanger of "the new york times," thanks for joining us. gary mcgraw, great to have you both. what you should know for the newsweek ahead coming up next. o, he opened up jake's very private world. at first, jake's family thought they saved ziggy, but his connection with jake has been a lifesaver. for a love this strong, his family only feeds him iams. compared to other leading brands, it has 50% more animal protein... help keep ziggy's body as strong as a love that reaches further than anyone's words.
6:50 am
iams. keep love strong. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, tell your doctor if you have new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. with chantix and with the support system it worked. it worked for me.
6:51 am
[ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
6:52 am
in just a moment, what we should know. a quick update on the discussions about the battle of free and open information. schwartz committed suicide in january. at the time of death was being prosecuted by the government for
6:53 am
downloading too many free articles. on friday, the white house responded to a white house detigs asking for research to be posted on the internet to maximize free public access to fund scientific research. it's a start to making it free and available to the people. way to go, white house. what should you know? the supreme court will hear alabama resident by the republican national committee challenging the federal limits on the amount individuals can contribute within an election cycle. it caps contributions at $117,000 isn't widely known as fascinating data shows. more than 1,000 big contributors have violated the limits with many donors violating it.
6:54 am
the associated press changed guidelines with how it refers to gay ant lesbian couples. couples who are partners in same-sex marriages. they have changed it. regardless of sexual orientation husband and wife is legal in any legally recognized marriages. monumented social change appears in tiny spaces. >> tonight is the 80th annual academy awards. in november, we had one of my intellectual people who wrote the screen play, "lincoln" for screen writer. in september, we had david france director of one of the most riveting shows i have seen in my life. it's the thought of saving lives
6:55 am
of people dying from aids. it's the best work of art i have ever seen. the competition is tough with a number of fantastic documentaries out there. even if he doesn't win, you should do what it takes to see it. i'll be sitting in for lawrence o'donnell on wednesday and thursday night for the upper who is are not naturally morning people, you can watch with a beer instead of a cup of coffee. what you should know for the week ahead. >> before it's before noon, i think i can say transvaginal probe. >> sure. >> indiana and wisconsin are trying to change transvaginal probe laws. indiana has a proposal that is more invasive that requires women to have two probes and a probe before taking ru-46. if you have that facial
6:56 am
expression think of how we feel. >> aaron schwartz to tie the discussion we are having, a point i want to make is he's become collateral damage in this cyber warfare. one is a colleague of mine, an unofficial spokesperson for anonymous currently in jail for his disobedience activities relating to activities he's involved in. as a government, we should be careful. look, we do not want to go after our most talented youth because they are hacking. we need to be careful we don't throw everybody into jail. >> kim? >> you should know that as long as we are talking cyber security and cyber warfare, last week was a watershed time. we have the strategy for mitigating trade secret theft, the order on infrastructure, the policy directive on cyber
6:57 am
security, major accomplishments in moving forward. >> there's no question, it's a genuine priority. they have made that very clear. he talked about it in the state of the union. i think i continue to want to make sure that it doesn't develop in the way that other threat industries have developed in the past. >> yeah. in relation to that, you should know the cyber community is trying to make themselves exempt in the sequestration debate. it's not so much what america will do, but what china and russia will do. >> the thing we should look for is, we are talking about the difference between offense and defense is key to understanding this area. i want to thank my guests today. michael hastings off thor of "panic 2012." thank you all. thank you for joining us.
6:58 am
we'll be back next weekend saturday and sunday at 8:00 eastern time. our guest is "top chef" star. and he promises a makeover for the "up" pastry plate. coming up, melissa harris-perry. melissa set the table with an overload of constitutional brainy goodness. that's next. see you next week here on "up." [ dad ] find it? ya. alright, another one just like that. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me.
6:59 am
just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. good arm. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you.


disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on